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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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39 S                                LIFE  OF
steadily with, whole, not half measures.    The govern
menx was to acquire         means3 by representative de-
putations, of knowing the wishes of the people.
It was not Ms opinion that a state could be built
up bj mere theories^ and considered it a fortunate cir-
cumstance that the former history of Prussia con-
tained so many examples which might be consulted,
and so many elements which might be employed. In
all respects Humboldt's recal to the ministry en-
couraged the brightest Jiopes^ and it was known that lie
would not consent to a •withholding of the promised
constitution on paltry grounds. He devoted himself
zealously to the work., and has immortalized Ms short
career Tby these exertions- by the events which so
speedily terminated Ms ministerial career. Unlike
many who forget their liberal opinions when they have
ascended the             lie insisted on Ms views in the
most emphatic              in         of the reaction
But Ms energetic interference in the formation of a
constitution did riot                         dismissal, for the
constitution question was yet too          in its infancy
to excite much apprehension.    The straggle         con-
tinued on another field, and in a much more violent
manner, as here the point  of debate was a
retrogression.     It was the   CarlsTbaci
were proclaimed on the  20th  of
The contents of                     are well known. They
introduced measures              the schools and univer-
sities ; circumscribecl the freedom of the press by the
censorship,              down a central investigating com-
mission in Mayence.
Humboldt had "been Irritated for some time : irri-
tated by the         which had "been given to the unful-
filled promises of a constitution and representative
assemblies., and by the whole policy of the chancellor,
who, instead of taking his stand by the support of
opinion and of talented men? expected advice
only from Russia and Austria, The